Lab Policy

Our mission:


To uncover biological knowledge and new medicines by developing advanced methods to quantify and mine the rich information present in images.

Our motto:


Measure everything, ask questions later.

Our ethos:


- We love to discover the inner workings of biological systems and develop strategies to find new medicines.

- We like to work as a collegial team towards scientific goals.

- We like to help collaborating scientists, especially by providing open-source methods and tools.

- We are moving towards open science; a process where all data, software, results, and interpretations are made immediately publicly available.

- We are scientifically and morally conscientious and maintain a professional environment where all members feel safe and that their contributions are valued.

Your responsibilities:


- Participate in weekly group meetings, presenting your work several times per year.

- Prepare for efficient weekly subgroup check-ins with Anne to review:

  • Past progress
  • Future plans
  • Ideas about how to help you, or the group as a whole, function better

When working on specific projects


- Follow our overall tech strategy* and subgroup-specific guidance about how to document your work electronically so it is reproducible. Be sure to capture things like:

  • Goal: what is the point of this project overall? What does this particular experiment test? What variables are under investigation? What methods have you researched or what prior work is it based on? What are the potential outcomes & conclusions?
  • Correspondence with other project team members
  • Conclusion: what did the experiment/test tell you? What are the next steps?
  • Results/Data: the numerical output of the experiment, qualitative observations, notation of where resulting images are stored, etc.
  • Procedure: Detailed procedures, software, algorithms, pipelines, images, etc. used

When working on software projects


- Get frequent feedback from users. Some good ways to accomplish this:

  • Show your progress frequently in group meeting. Short weekly demonstrations are great if you would prefer this to a full presentation every 2-3 months
  • Schedule regular meetings with users
  • Monitor the software's online forum and follow up quickly on issues reported there
  • Participate in tutorials for the software and observe users

- Follow good software engineering practices:

  • Use a version control system such as Github
  • Write unit tests that exercise every logical path in your code (but GUI code is an allowable exception)
  • Document code where the objective isn't obvious
  • Have code peer-reviewed often

- Track issues using the software project's tracking software


General responsibilities


- Assist in the preparation of scientific manuscripts, grants, and presentations, and submit work to preprint archives when collaborators allow.

- Give drafts of your proposals or manuscripts to the group's leaders well in advance of deadlines to allow adequate time for feedback.

- Inform leadership if you are not getting the resources, advice, or training you need.

- Manage your time well: Your actual working hours are flexible, though we expect you to work 40 hours per week. Your schedule should facilitate your collaborations with other researchers as much as possible, and you may also find a need to rise to the occasion when collaborations require it. If you aren't feeling well, it is best to stay home, take the day off and rest up rather than dragging yourself in. Working from home can be arranged, though it requires more active communication.*

- Use the Institute calendar for scheduled meetings and reporting vacation/sick time.

- Represent the lab professionally when presenting its work.

- Give credit where it is due and obey intellectual property laws.

- Respect the confidentiality of collaborators’ projects. Do not discuss their research goals, ideas, or results with anyone outside our group or the collaborator’s laboratory without prior permission from the collaborator. This is especially true for public presentations.

- Prudently buy/use lab resources including cloud and computational resources.

- You may not perform consulting work without special permission, through Broad's Deputy Director. You must demonstrate that such work is useful for job performance.

- Don't sign anything (e.g. publication copyright agreements, consulting agreements) as yourself without checking with Anne; signing makes you personally liable, so usually there is a Broad person responsible for signing.

- Report intellectual property that you develop to the Broad Business Development Office.

- Report unethical behavior to Anne or to the Institutional Ethics Officer (ask Human Resources). Report interpersonal conflicts to Anne or Human Resources.

- Contribute to the lab's culture of exceptional thoughtfulness and intellectual rigor so we can all continue to enjoy a healthy research environment.


Our responsibility to you:


- Provide good ideas and starting points for projects; provide guidance throughout.

- Provide training in scientific project planning and execution, specific techniques and methods.

- Provide for your attendance at scientific courses, conferences, tutorials, and workshops. Lab members generally attend at least one conference/year.

- Provide for your membership in a society that benefits your work.

- Provide funding for your salary/stipend, research materials, computational resources and physical workspace.

- Provide career advice and mentoring - note that we are well-connected to academic (including other Broad groups), commercial, and 'alternative' career contacts and are happy to help you find your next niche in the world. We truly want researchers to love what they are doing, even if it is not within our group. We prefer 2-3 months' notice so that we have time to hire a new person that you can train and transfer knowledge to, helping make the most of the work you have contributed to the team. We promise in return to be supportive of your decision.

- Provide letters of reference that accurately reflect your performance, skills, and interaction with the rest of the group, within two weeks.

- Provide an environment where ethical behavior is expected and where interpersonal conflicts and unethical behavior are handled in a professional manner.

- Allow you to spend some of your work time finishing up revisions of papers from your prior lab experience; however, unless you are funded by a fellowship, remember that you also have a full-time obligation to the funding source paying for your time so this should be kept reasonable; ask Anne for boundaries.

- Determine appropriate authorship on publications emanating from our group’s research. Our team often works on projects led by an outside group. We follow the guidelines of The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:

"acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not justify authorship. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content; ALL three of the following criteria be met for authorship to be warranted:

  1. substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
  2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
  3. final approval of the version to be published."

Note that while just providing data doesn't automatically warrant authorship, that doesn't mean we have permission to use peoples' data for publications without asking. Generally, practically speaking, this means that if we are using peoples' data we should involve them intellectually, or alternately talk to them first and ask if it's ok to use the data in a limited way while excluding them as authors.

- Minimize the amount of bureaucracy you need to deal with while doing your research.

- Provide unlimited coffee and tea. :)




*Hyperlinks are available on our intranet only to current lab members.